Ember roared, leaping at Sprucefeather, who ducked away and stood panting defiantly at him.
“WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?” he roared at her, his eyes glowing silver. He tried to call up golden starfire, but it had retreated deep inside him.
She flicked her tail unconcernedly. “He was in your way, so I killed him.”
“HE WAS MY UNCLE!” Ember paced toward her, then stopped. “See me later,” he growled.
He turned and flew above the herd, calling, “FREEZE.”
Below him, everything went still, except for a little foal who looked up, then hid under its dam.
Breathing out a plume of silver starfire, he wheeled over the herd. “Everyone go to the great canyon. Captains, come to me.” He paused, surveying them intently. “I will be watching.”
He turned, flew down to land next to the still body of Cobrawing, and lowered his head in respect. “Fly straight and find your rest.”
Behind him, all the captains touched down, and one, his eyes wide, said, “Emberwing.”
Ember turned, about to object, but Sprucefeather glared at him, and he simply nodded. “This is the way to power,” he remembered her saying, and power sounded good then. A peaceful herd, him as over-stallion — a united Anok.
He flared his wings and ordered them, “Watch the Desert Herd steeds from the canyon walls — or suffer my displeasure.” He doubted he could carry out his threat, and he hated seeing them flinch.
Sunfire stepped forward. "Ember, what are you doing?"
He turned away.
All this is for the good of Anok, he reassured himself. And… for Starpebble.
He turned and flew up toward Starpebble’s cave.
Starpebble heard a roar from below and squeezed past Spark to peer out. Below was — EMBER! He flew up above the herd and called something to them. She turned to Spark, her eyes wide. “Look! It’s — Ember!”
Spark jumped in front of her, watching as Ember released a ribbon of silver starfire into the air. He hustled her back into the cave.
“Ember’s turned Destroyer,” he whispered. A tear slipped down Starpebble’s face.
“What are we going to do?”
Spark peered out, then ducked in again. “For now, run.”
She opened her mouth to argue, but was interrupted by Ember landing in the cave opening.
She backed up against the wall, pulling Spark with her. Spark began to breath starfire against the wall, shoving her in front to keep Ember from seeing what he was doing.
Ember advanced, and Starpebble flared her wings. “Ember, what are you doing?”
He closed his eyes and opened them again. She saw despair. “Doing what’s best for Anok.”
She stepped closer. “Ember, capturing the herds is NOT what is best for Anok.”
He stepped forward. “But we’re safer together, in one herd. And... I can keep you safe. We won’t be captured again.”
Starpebble sighed. “No, Ember —” she started. Ember advanced, his nostrils flaring, his mouth opening, but Spark leaped in front of her and shoved her into the starfire at the back of the cave.
“Go, Starpebble!” he cried. She yelled and tried to surge out, but the starfire caught her and pulled her back into it, until it filled her eyes and nose and pulled her through a tunnel, down and down. The starfire felt warm, and then it dumped her out onto soft ground, mud squishing over her hooves.
Hope you all enjoyed! PLEASE inform me of ANY MISTAKES OR INCONSISTANCIES be they a missing period or a plot hole or a weird travel time or ANYTHING! Thank you!
Cedarwing~ (over-stallion) agile light bay stallion with blue feathers, black mane and tail, thin white blaze
Sprucefeather~ (widowed mare) bay mare with green feathers, black mane and tail
Stormrain~ (yearling) dark gray filly with dark green feathers, black mane and tail
Hoperiver~ (single/widowed mare) pure white mare with sparkling blue feathers flecked with amber, silky white mane and tail
Stormsun~ (single mare) chestnut mare with turquoise feathers, curly black mane and tail fading to light brown, four white socks, blaze
Rockroot~ (medicine stallion) smoky-gray stallion with deep pink feathers, black mane and tail, white snip on nose
Mistwing~ (over-stallion) white stallion with misty blue and white feathers, silver mane and tail
Ashcloud~ (lead mare) smoky gray mare with smoky purple feathers, black mane and tail, large diamond-shaped star on forehead
Frostroot~ (medicine mare) light gray appaloosa mare with pale yellow feathers, light gray mane and tail
Echoflower~ (single/widowed mare, elder) white mare with pink feathers, white mane and tail
Rainshine~ (yearling) dark silver dapple filly with silver feathers, black mane and tail
Cobrawing~ (over-stallion) bay pinto stallion with green feathers, mixed brown-and-white mane and tail
Dustcloud~ (lead mare) palomino mare with pale green feathers, white mane and tail, wide white blaze
Sunfire~ (captain) gold dun stallion with violet feathers, gold mane and tail, thin white blaze
Starpebble~ (yearling) silver filly with pale blue feathers, white mane and tail, deep blue eyes
Ember~ (black foal, yearling) solid black colt with black feathers, black mane and tail
Spark~ (black foal, yearling) solid black colt with black feathers, black mane and tail, four white socks
Brightsky~ (mated mare) bright palomino mare with mixed blue and purple feathers, white mane and tail
Summersong~ (yearling) brownish-gold filly with pale pink feathers, light brown mane and tail
Palmroot~ (medicine mare) gold dun mare with amethyst feathers, black mane and tail, black points
Tumbleweed~ (nursing foal) buttermilk buckskin with turquoise feathers, black mane and tail, uneven blaze